Qualifying Round Information for participants

Congratulations on being part of Monterey Bay’s dynamic and diverse entrepreneur community!

We hope that you and your loved ones are staying healthy. 

Here you will find some helpful information on creating and submitting your pitch for the Qualifying Round and what to expect next.

If you submitted your application, you are eligible to participate in the Qualifying Round.

Startup Challenge pitch competitor

We’re Going online

In response to the COVID-19 emergency, the Qualifying Round is moving online. We are asking participants to create their pitch as a 5-minute video, upload it to YouTube as an unlisted video, and submit a link to your pitch video. The judges will then view and score the videos to select the businesses that will go on to the Final Round.


*Failure to comply with these guidelines may result in disqualification*

  • Video must be no longer than 5 minutes
  • Props may be used but are not required
  • Special effects, demonstrations, and Powerpoint slides are not allowed
  • The video should be of you or your team member(s) narrating your pitch
  • Keep it simple!
  • Submit your pitch by April 2, 2020 at 7:00 PM PDT

The following criteria will be used to judge your pitch’s content and presentation. Be sure to address these items during your 5-minute pitch. Click here for more details.

  • Problem and solution
  • Market
  • Revenue and fundraising strategy
  • Go to market strategy
  • Competition
  • Financials and economics
  • Team
  • Structure of presentation
  • Ability to engage audience
  • Clarity of presentation
  • Passion and enthusiasm
  • Upload your pitch video onto YouTube
  • To keep this video from being publicly available, set this video visibility to “unlisted.” Click here for instructions.
  • Use your business name as your video title
  • Use 2-3 sentences to describe your business in the video’s description
  • Click the button below to submit your YouTube video share link
  • Submission deadline: April 2, 2020 at 7:00 PM PDT

Can I use a PowerPoint slide as a poster, as I cannot go to Kinko’s to print my poster?

Yes, provided that it only shows for a part of the presentation and that you are visible as the presenter for most of the presentation. No more than one slide, which must mimic a poster!

Do you still have a question?
Use the button to submit it.

What to Expect Next

  • Saturday April 4, judges will score individual business pitches
  • Monday April 6, finalists for each division will be announced to all participants through email
  • Qualifying Round participants will receive individual pitch feedback from judges by April 10
startup challenge judges panel